Reactive Oxygen Use in Biofilm Control

Period of Performance: 09/20/2000 - 03/19/2002


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Pacific Technologies
Redmond, WA 98052
Principal Investigator


DESCRIPTION (Adapted from Applicant's Abstract): This project addresses dentistry's needs to remedy water contamination problems, namely related to biofilm formation within dental unit waterlines, and achieve low level bioburdens in point of use nonsurgical water. The proposed research will develop two innovative economical approaches of generating short-lived chemically reactive potent biocides useful for treating both the problems of (1) free flowing microbial bio-burden in water supplies; and (2) the attached biofilm resident in waterlines. The former is attacked using a novel biocidal water treatment "filter" to kill organisms. The latter is attacked via novel deployment of two common generic disinfectants to engender a third potent biocide. Key features of the techniques are their ease of implementation to current recommended dental practices including retrofitting, convenient use, continuous filtration with no bio-film buildup on the filter, and minimal concerns of residuals or substances potentially hazardous or harmful to patients, workers, dental materials or instruments. The objective of Phase I research is to demonstrate the feasibility of implementation to reduce dental unit water bioburdens below ADA recommended levels. The research plan addresses development and characterization of the technologies to produce prototypic test models. These prototypes will then be used to evaluate microorganism killing under various conditions. PROPOSED COMMERCIAL APPLICATION: The maket potential for the technology is enormous. there are over 150, 000 dental practices in the United States alone and the ADA recommends that the water contamination problem, essentially ubiquitous in dental clinics, be corrected by the year 2000. The market outside dentistry is even larger, encompassing other medical practices, pharmaceutical and food industries and a wide range of other commerces (biofouling related costs > $1 billion/ year).